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Tim Friede: The Man Who’s Immune to Snake Venom

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During an interview with National Geographic Dr. Zoltan Takacs, founder of ToxinTech, mentioned he was allergic to both snake venom and its antivenom. “I’m allergic to the snake venom and the snake antivenom,” he said. [video timestamp 18:13]

On the other end of the scale, some people have become immune to snake venom.  As snake venom and Covid are currently a hot topic we thought highlighting the case of Tim Friede by summarising Outside’s 2019 article could be a further piece of the puzzle.  However, only further investigation and time will determine whether acquiring immunity to venom has any relevance in the overall snake venom / Covid debate.

Since 2000, Friede, a truck mechanic from Wisconsin, has endured some 200 snakebites and 700 injections of lethal snake venom – all part of a masochistic quest to immunise his body and offer his blood to scientists seeking a universal antivenom. For nearly two decades, few took him seriously. Then a gifted young immunologist, Jacob Glanville, stumbled upon Friede on YouTube – and became convinced that he was the key to conquering snakebites forever.


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At the age of 30 Friede, who is now in his early 50s, enrolled in a class on how to milk spiders and scorpions, hoping to land a career extracting venom for medical research. A few arachnid bites later, he got a pet copperhead, and it’s been all snakes ever since. That’s also around the time he first heard about self-­immunisation. The ancient practice involves escalating exposure to any harmful substance – toxin, bacteria, virus – that the human body produces antibodies against. So, in 2000, Friede began shooting himself with snake venom in small doses.

He suffered his first snake bite, from an Egyptian cobra, in 2001. Having begun self-immunising the year before – he’d already injected 0.26 milligrams of cobra venom diluted in saline, a dose large enough to ensure he could survive a cobra bite – the bite left him no worse for wear. “That changed everything,” Friede said. “It was the first time I beat death.”

An hour later he was bitten by a monocled cobra.  Friede collapsed, became fully paralysed and had to be revived with six vials of antivenom. He spent the next four days in a coma. Afterwards, he made it a goal to survive two venomous snakebites in a single night, this time without requiring antivenom. To do so, Friede taught himself enough immunology to self-vaccinate more safely.

When he is bitten or injects himself with snake toxins, his B cells, the body’s antibody factories, secrete thousands of different antibodies in an effort to counteract each of the many distinct proteins that make up a particular venom. At first very few succeed. Like random keys inserted into locks, they simply don’t fit. But inevitably, a few do. Its evolution taking place directly in the bloodstream. Every time Friede receives a snakebite, his B cells make only those antibodies that address the now present toxin while at the same time constantly tinkering to improve the designs. The more venom Friede injects, the more effective his antibodies become.

What’s challenging about his approach is that each species’ venom is a combination of 20 to 70 toxic proteins and enzymes that kill or maim in their own special way. To survive bites from multiple species, Friede needs antibodies capable of turning off the deadliest toxins in the venoms injected, be it rattlesnake or cobra. He also needs a legion of them in his bloodstream at all times, although when he first began self-immunising, he wasn’t certain how many. Friede decided that more was better and the process he settled on required near-constant exposure to venom. So, he ordered a lot of snakes.

Explaining why his immunity wasn’t just a dubious party trick but could save millions of lives: “What they did in San Francisco,” he said, “is cloned all my good antibodies to mamba, rattlesnake, everything.” And that, he continued, is what would become the foundation for a universal antivenom.

Friede developed a sort of stuntman-next-door persona by posting videos online. Before long the media discovered him, too. National Geographic filmed Friede for a TV segment in 2002. The History Channel featured him on Stan Lee’s Superhumans, and he appeared on the Science Channel and several YouTube shows. He was also covered in several magazines and became a regular guest on podcasts and radio.

In March 2017, Glanville, who left a principal-scientist position at Pfizer to launch a start-up called Distributed Bio, had just developed a novel method for accelerating the creation of new drugs by extracting patients’ antibodies, the blood proteins vertebrates use to counteract the threat of viruses, bacteria, and toxins. He thought he’d apply the technique to cancer research. So, he took to Google in search of a melanoma survivor. Chasing a thought, he typed in “repeat venom survivor” instead and found Friede.

By this time, Friede had spent 19 years promoting his quest to help researchers create a universal antivenom and Glanville soon stumbled upon a newspaper story that described a YouTube video of Friede’s favourite stunt, the one he says proves his immunity to two of the deadliest snakes in existence: Papua New Guinea taipan and black mamba. Friede’s immune system, it seemed, was able to neutralise dozens of different toxins. Glanville wondered whether he could use his new antibody extraction method on Friede to create a universal antivenom.

Glanville contacted Friede and soon after, they made a handshake agreement. Friede would supply his antibodies, and Glanville his science, and should they bring an antivenom to market, they’d split the profits down the middle.

Around the time Glanville and Friede connected, their cause got a publicity boost. In June 2017, after intensive lobbying by physicians, the World Health Organization categorized snakebites as a neglected tropical disease, an upgraded classification with the heft to shake loose vital funding. Dozens of teams around the world are now trying to improve upon the antivenoms first developed in the late 1890s.

As Glanville soon learned, none of the researchers working on a snakebite cure expected to engineer a truly universal antivenom. Doing so would require an antibody to turn off every toxin in every known snake venom. Yet, as Glanville also discovered, advances in genomic sequencing have revealed that across all 700 species of venomous snakes, the most destructive proteins belong to just 13 different families. “Not all toxins are equally bad. We just need to cure the nastiest ones to save lives,” Glanville says.

Like some of the other teams working on antivenom, Glanville hopes to target the protein-binding sites shared among each of those 13 families. If he can find antibodies to lock onto those vulnerable sites, a so-called broad-spectrum antivenom wouldn’t need to contain several thousand distinct antibodies. An effective number, he says, could be closer to 30.

In April 2018, about a year into the antivenom project, Glanville and Ray Newland, a young scientist appointed to the project, tested Friede’s blood on seven venoms. Within a week, Newland weeded out 282 binding antibodies and had hits on all seven venoms, including ones Friede hadn’t immunised against.

They had 282 antibodies from Friede that worked against whole venoms – and millions more to look through for an even better fit. “Tim’s blood is the best chance the world has at a broadly reactive antivenom,” Newland says.

Read the full story ‘The Human Antivenom ProjectHERE.

Friede continues with his quest to find a universal antivenom. His Twitter profile can be found by following this LINK on which he posts and references two websites: Mithros Bioscience, of which he is co-founder, and Centivax for which he is Director of Herpetology.

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GundelP
GundelP
5 months ago

Snake venom tale was already debunked by Dr Kaufman among others (eg.Amanda Volmer), he is right, it makes no sense anyway. Snake venom parts on drinking water but pets are not affected? Snake venoms are peptides, you digest it without problem. Being poisoned, it must be injected – just how the snake does when bite you – to make harm.
https://davidicke.com/2022/04/19/the-straight-unswiveled-truth-on-snake-venom-claims-with-andrew-kaufman-m-d/

They are desperate and try another misinformation again and again, they realized that many of us don’t believe the germ theory any longer but they need to talk about something else but graphene oxide, self assembling nanotech and bluetooth signals emitting people (MAC addresses).

By the way they use(?) Fuellmich team for the same goal, to spead misinfo, half truth, half lies. Eg. the man admitted that they cause illnesses using mobile phones but he stressed that 5G mobiles phones – half truth, ALL smart mobiles are capable to cause harm just how La Quinta Columna demonstrated it on the Brighteon’ channel of Claire Edwards Uncensored.

Last edited 5 months ago by GundelP
Another Trumper
Another Trumper
Reply to  GundelP
5 months ago

Very early on, Fuellmich’s team denounced the PCR test. Said it absolutely could not be used as a diagnostic test to identify who was sick with COVID.
Your post smells very much like a hit piece to me.

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5 months ago

[…] April 20, 2022Tim Friede: The Man Who’s Immune to Snake Venom […]

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5 months ago

[…] April 20, 2022Tim Friede: The Man Who’s Immune to Snake Venom […]

Kelly
Kelly
5 months ago

If science can’t be questioned it’s not science anymore. It’s propaganda. They want to rip on people for taking Ivermectin. I researched and saw the evidence on the internet. Research papers are on the internet for those who wants to see. Top respected world doctors are being under defamation by MSM and vaccine manufacturers. I won’t back down recommeding IVM.
You can get yours by visiting https://www.ivmcures.com

Last edited 5 months ago by Kelly
Bacon
Bacon
5 months ago

Could the “Immune to Snake Venom” be the ultimate treatment against the COVID-19 vaccine?

An enzyme with an elusive role in severe inflammation may be a key mechanism driving COVID-19 severity and could provide a new therapeutic target to reduce COVID-19 mortality, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Researchers from the University of Arizona, in collaboration with Stony Brook University and Wake Forest University School of Medicine, analyzed blood samples from two COVID-19 patient cohorts and found that circulation of the enzyme — secreted phospholipase A2 group IIA, or sPLA2-IIA — may be the most important factor in predicting which patients with severe COVID-19 eventually succumb to the virus.

sPLA2-IIA, which has similarities to an active enzyme in rattlesnake venom, is found in low concentrations in healthy individuals and has long been known to play a critical role in defense against bacterial infections, destroying microbial cell membranes.

When the activated enzyme circulates at high levels, it has the capacity to “shred” the membranes of vital organs, said Floyd (Ski) Chilton, senior author on the paper and director of the UArizona Precision Nutrition and Wellness Initiative housed in the university’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“It’s a bell-shaped curve of disease resistance versus host tolerance,” Chilton said. “In other words, this enzyme is trying to kill the virus, but at a certain point it is released in such high amounts that things head in a really bad direction, destroying the patient’s cell membranes and thereby contributing to multiple organ failure and death.”

Together with available clinically tested sPLA2-IIA inhibitors, “the study supports a new therapeutic target to reduce or even prevent COVID-19 mortality,” said study co-author Maurizio Del Poeta, a SUNY distinguished professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University.

Collaboration Amid Chaos

“The idea to identify a potential prognostic factor in COVID-19 patients originated from Dr. Chilton,” Del Poeta said. “He first contacted us last fall with the idea to analyze lipids and metabolites in blood samples of COVID-19 patients.”

Del Poeta and his team collected stored plasma samples and went to work analyzing medical charts and tracking down critical clinical data from 127 patients hospitalized at Stony Brook University between January and July 2020. A second independent cohort included a mix of 154 patient samples collected from Stony Brook and Banner University Medical Center in Tucson between January and November 2020.

“These are small cohorts, admittedly, but it was a heroic effort to get them and all associated clinical parameters from each patient under these circumstances,” Chilton said. “As opposed to most studies that are well planned out over the course of years, this was happening in real time on the ICU floor.”

The research team was able to analyze thousands of patient data points using machine learning algorithms. Beyond traditional risk factors such as age, body mass index and preexisting conditions, the team also focused on biochemical enzymes, as well as patients’ levels of lipid metabolites.

“In this study, we were able to identify patterns of metabolites that were present in individuals who succumbed to the disease,” said lead study author Justin Snider, an assistant research professor in the UArizona Department of Nutrition. “The metabolites that surfaced revealed cell energy dysfunction and high levels of the sPLA2-IIA enzyme. The former was expected but not the latter.”

Using the same machine learning methods, the researchers developed a decision tree to predict COVID-19 mortality. Most healthy individuals have circulating levels of the sPLA2-IIA enzyme hovering around half a nanogram per milliliter. According to the study, COVID-19 was lethal in 63% of patients who had severe COVID-19 and levels of sPLA2-IIA equal to or greater than 10 nanograms per milliliter.

“Many patients who died from COVID-19 had some of the highest levels of this enzyme that have ever been reported,” said Chilton, who has been studying the enzyme for over three decades.

An Enzyme with a Bite

The role of the sPLA2-IIA enzyme has been the subject of study for half of a century and it is “possibly the most examined member of the phospholipase family,” Chilton explained.

Charles McCall, lead researcher from Wake Forest University on the study, refers to the enzyme as a “shredder” for its known prevalence in severe inflammation events, such as bacterial sepsis, as well as hemorrhagic and cardiac shock.

Previous research has shown how the enzyme destroys microbial cell membranes in bacterial infections, as well as its similar genetic ancestry with a key enzyme found in snake venom.

The protein “shares a high sequence homology to the active enzyme in rattlesnake venom and, like venom coursing through the body, it has the capacity to bind to receptors at neuromuscular junctions and potentially disable the function of these muscles,” Chilton said.

“Roughly a third of people develop long COVID, and many of them were active individuals who now can’t walk 100 yards. The question we are investigating now is: If this enzyme is still relatively high and active, could it be responsible for part of the long COVID outcomes that we’re seeing?”

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Arizona. Original written by Rosemary Brandt. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

   Justin M. Snider, Jeehyun Karen You, Xia Wang, Ashley J. Snider, Brian Hallmark, Manja M. Zec, Michael C. Seeds, Susan Sergeant, Laurel Johnstone, Qiuming Wang, Ryan Sprissler, Tara F. Carr, Karen Lutrick, Sairam Parthasarathy, Christian Bime, Hao H. Zhang, Chiara Luberto, Richard R. Kew, Yusuf A. Hannun, Stefano Guerra, Charles E. McCall, Guang Yao, Maurizio Del Poeta, Floyd H. Chilton. Group IIA secreted phospholipase A2 is associated with the pathobiology leading to COVID-19 mortality. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2021; DOI: 10.1172/JCI149236

Cite This Page:

   MLA
   APA
   Chicago

University of Arizona. “Like venom coursing through the body: Researchers identify mechanism driving COVID-19 mortality.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2021. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/08/210824135358.htm>.

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Richard Parker
Richard Parker
5 months ago

Snake venom in the water may not have been debunked by Dr Kaufmann. I think enough of the venom has been maintained in cities water supplies by the CDC (why they have people monitoring “something”in the water), to coerce people into seeking medical help. When a person takes a PCR test, and test positive for Covid, trusting our medical “professionals”,go get the Vaxx or simply go to the hospital for the “only remedy”, the miracle drug Remdesivir to cure them. Hence you’re screwed either way, with the Vaxx you do risk dying right away,maybe not, but you will have a very debilitating illness, and die in roughly 2-5 years. If you go to a hospital, well then, you ARE going to die, period.